“I was born in the midst of a battle,” he answered, tearing a chunk of meat from a huge joint with his strong teeth. “The first sound my ears heard was the clang of swords and the yells of the slaying.”
Believe it or not, I had never read Robert E. Howard’s original Conan stories. My entire exposure to Conan was limited to the Ah-nold movies and Robert Jordan’s first three Conan pastiches. That simply will not stand. No self-respecting blogger can spend any serious amount of time examining speculative fiction’s roots and not cover Howard and Conan.
Throwback SF Thursday was never supposed to be about one-off book reviews, although I have written plenty of those and will continue to do so. Ideally, what I will do is look at both vintage SF and the retro SF it has inspired. That will be my approach with Conan. Not only will I cover Howard’s original stories, I will also cover the move adaptations, a big chunk of the pastiches, and one stretch of the comics.
I’ve been working on my Conan collection for several weeks. For starters, I have the three volume Del Rey collection of the original Robert E. Howard stories. As to the pastiches, I have a number of those Tor put out: the first two Robert Jordan omnibuses, two Leonard Carpenter books, four Roland Green books, two Steve Perry books, and two John Maddox Roberts books. I also have two graphic novels by Kurt Busiek, blu-ray editions of the two Ah-nold movies and the Khal Drogo movies, and the Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp novelization of the first Ah-nold movie.
I’m going to do a few posts on the Howard stories, but I will probably only cover the pastiches by author (and it is highly doubtful I will get through 18 books). But Throwback SF Thursday will, for the rest of the summer, be devoted to Conan.